DENVER — Jazz sixth man Andrei Kirilenko missed a third straight game Sunday due to persistent inflammation and irritation on a bone spot in his right foot.

Kirilenko, who missed two games in early December with the same injury, had been hoping to postpone surgery until the offseason.

But now he's not so sure he can wait.

"There is a possibility," Kirilenko said when asked after Sunday night's loss to Denver if he might instead undergo surgery now.

Kirilenko's status for Tuesday's game against San Antonio is uncertain, but he certainly didn't sound like someone planning on playing when he spoke Sunday.

"We'll see ... but it doesn't feel any better," he said. "It just feels same way, you know. It feels sore. We'll see what the doctors say."

Kirilenko recently took a cortisone shot in the foot — his second since December.

This one, he said, "didn't work."

"It's already been a week," Kirilenko added. "Last time it (took) three or four days."

Kirilenko plans to meet with medical personnel today to chart of plan for action, which could include additional rest, another shot or — worst-case scenario — surgery that would have him out 3-to-4 weeks.

"We did the X-ray, and that piece is still there," Kirilenko said.

"It has to be removed — (either) now or after the season," he added. "That's why we tried the cortisone shot so I could take the time to finish the season."

All-Star power forward Carlos Boozer, meanwhile, missed a 33rd straight game Sunday.

He's still rehabbing from following arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this month, again leaving the Jazz — who have lost 114 man-games to injury this season — shorthanded.

PLANE PROBLEM: Because of a mechanical issue, the Jazz's charter plane to Denver never got off the ground Saturday night.

Team members wound up spending the evening at their own homes following a loss to Cleveland, then regrouped and left Salt Lake City at 9 a.m. Sunday morning.

The club arrived in Denver at about 10:20 a.m., and checked into its hotel around 11:15 for a few hours' sleep.

No breakfast meeting was held, as typically would be the case on the morning of a second game in a back-to-back set. Instead, coaches met after arriving at the Pepsi Center late Sunday afternoon for the atypically early 6 p.m. game.

"It's not a big deal," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "I don't think it is."

MOUTH STRIKE: Sloan was tagged with a technical foul Sunday — his sixth of the season.

"I was disappointed on the one play — when Paul Millsap got hit in the mouth and went to the floor and didn't get a call on it," he said.

"If you get hit in the mouth," Sloan added, "that should be a foul — whoever's officiating."

ALUMNI UPDATE: Ex-Jazz point guard Dee Brown, who spent time this season with Washington and Phoenix, signed over the weekend Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, the famed Israeli team.

31 comments on this story MISC.: Reserve big man Jarron Collins returned to the active roster Sunday, and big man Kyrylo Fesenko was active as well, so guard Morris Almond was inactive. Almond has not played for five straight games. ... Guard Ronnie Price played 15 minutes - his first action after not playing in five consecutive games. ... Denver's victory was No. 200 for coach George Karl with the Nuggets. Only Doug Moe and Larry Brown have won more for the franchise. ... Denver center Nene's game-high 28 points included 12-of-12 shooting from the field - tying Bobby Jones' 1978 team record for most field goals made in a game without a miss. ... Boozer did not make the trip. ... Millsap's 12-point, 10-rebound double-double was his 23rd of the season.


E-mail: tbuckley@desnews.com